Mutual Support Meetings

The Meetup is one form of Mutual Support that members of the CSF community have been prototyping. The basic format has been to address the following questions. The form to address these is flexible but presented here in a form used in some of the sessions.

Underpinning Questions for the Open ‘MeetUp’ sessions
What is important in the world and how can we make a difference in this? How can I enhance my contribution to building Civil Society? How can we enhance our collective contribution?

1. What are the challenges I am currently working on or would like to be working on? What are the particular challenges facing with me in this?

2. What would help me increase my contribution? (What would help me/my colleagues/ associates/others increase our contribution?) What are particular challenges that others might be able to help with? Can you (others present) help me with…?

3. Can I help you/ others at the meeting? In what way?

4. Can I help support the purpose/work of the Civil Society Forum? In what way?

Generic Agenda

1) Personal introductions

• Who am I? What are my work / other interests? What are my concerns/interests relating to my work & relating to enhancing my contribution to building a world where all can thrive?

• What are any specific aims/hopes/ concerns/challenges I have at the moment?

• Are there any aspects of this that would be particularly helpful to address and that I would be interested in getting others ideas on?

• Is there anything I could share with others that might be of value to others present today?

Part 2:

• Is there anything that would like to see addressed by the Forum (that would help address an area of concern and that I would be willing to contribute to making happen)?

• Is there anything I could (and would be happy to) contribute particular expertise to addressing?

2) Support to each other: Reflections, ideas, offers, exchanges

• Exercise in pairs: What am I working on or would like to be making happen at the moment?

What are the important things necessary to move this forward now? How might I work with others on this; who shares the interest that I could work with; what support would be helpful to me and who and how could I take this forward? What accountability might be helpful? What do I want to do? What accountability might help; with friends, between us within or around the Forum sessions?

• Requests and offers of feedback; ideas, suggestions to those with particular challenges/questions

• Discussion / Exchange of ideas between people with shared interest in a particular topic

• Requests to know more about specific topics/areas of work from others in the group

• Offers to share particular insights that may be of interest to some of the group

Openness to possibility for:

• Exploration of possibilities for productive follow-on discussion / action/collaboration,

• Potential activity under banner of Civil Society Forum, enlisting involvement of and providing value to wider network.

3) Intro to the Civil Society Forum, its purpose, opportunities and challenges.

• How can we best pursue our purpose / increase our impact / attract more people / become sustainable?

• Reflection on the MeetUp. How can the idea be developed?

4) Moving forward.

• What are we sensing that is needing to emerge here? / What is emerging? / What are we excited to help emerge?

• Is there anything that would like to see addressed by the Forum (that would help address an area of concern and that I would be willing to contribute to making happen)?

• Is there anything I could (and would be happy to) contribute particular expertise to addressing?

Elinor Ostrom responsibilities (To consider):

The responsibilities of civil society in respect of the commons are clear: Elinor Ostrom articulated them as follows:

1. We clearly need to understand for which resources we need to care and with whom we share this responsibility. Commons resources are those that we create together, that we maintain as gifts of nature or whose use has been guaranteed to everyone.

2. We can then use the commons resources that we create, care for and maintain. We use the means (time, space, technology, and the quantity of a resource) that are available in a given context. But we need to be satisfied that there is a fair relationship between our individual contributions and the benefits we receive.

3. We need to enter into or modify our own rules and commitments, and everyone involved can participate in this process. These commitments serve to create, maintain, and preserve the commons to satisfy our needs.

4. We need to monitor the respect of these commitments ourselves and sometimes we mandate others whom we trust to help reach this goal. We continually reassess whether our commitments still serve their purpose.

5. We need to work out appropriate rules for dealing with violations of our commitments. We need to determine whether and what kinds of sanctions shall be used, depending on the context and severity of a violation.

6. Everyone involved can make use of a space and means for conflict resolution. We must seek to resolve conflicts in an easily accessible and straightforward way.

7. We need to regulate our own affairs, and encourage external authorities respect that.

8. We ultimately realize that every commons is part of a larger whole. Therefore, different institutions working at different scales are needed to coordinate stewardship and to cooperate with each other.